Take-Two Interactive called 2015 one of its “best years ever” in a shareholder outreach presentation. The main reason?

Grand Theft Auto.

In the presentation, Take-Two confirmed that the Grand Theft Auto franchise has sold over 220 million units to retail outlets over its history. Of that number, 54 million belong to Grand Theft Auto V.

The latest game in the GTA series, GTAV came out way back in 2013. It received praise for the interwoven stories of its three main characters, as well as complex and interactive open world. It was also correctly criticized for punching down rather than up with its humor, and presenting a cynical, misogynistic view of the world.

According to Take-Two, GTAV set records for reaching $1 billion in retail sales. Despite a lack of follow-up DLC for the main game, it’s been kept alive through updates to Grand Theft Auto Online. GTA Online also lets users create their own missions. Developer Rockstar Games covers some of the best ones on their blog.

The Grand Theft Auto series has always been a beacon for controversy, something that pushes it into the headlines (and into the sights of consumers) every time a new game is released. Its most famous controversy was perhaps the Hot Coffee scandal in Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, which Keezy Young explains in full.

The controversies don’t stop people (even critics) from playing the games–even with kids. Gary Swaby writes about a friend who has a unique way of playing Grand Theft Auto V with his four-year-old daughter. For her, GTAV is a driving game that she gets to play with her dad.

Regardless of whether we play or not, Grand Theft Auto is one of the most recognizable gaming franchises today. Other Take-Two games had strong showings this year as well. The basketball simulation series NBA 2K is consistently popular, with NBA 2K15 selling over 7 million copies to retail stores. This game, along with Grand Theft Auto V and Borderlands: The Presequel! were part of Take-Two’s holiday 2014 line-up.

This article was written by

Simone de Rochefort is a game journalist, writer, podcast host, and video producer who does a prolific amount of Stuff. You can find her on Twitter @doomquasar, and hear her weekly on tech podcast Rocket, as well as Pixelkin's Gaming With the Moms podcast. With Pixelkin she produces video content and devotes herself to Skylanders with terrifying abandon.